Mizoram CM Zoramthanga presents Rs 11,148.89-cr state budget

Mizoram, March 1: Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga presented the state the annual budget for 2021-22 financial year amounting to Rs 11,148.89 crore sans new proposals for levy of additional taxes or enhancement of tax rates in the state assembly on Monday.

Mizoram CM Zoramthanga, who also holds the finance portfolio, while presenting the budget said that the budget was Rs 433.89 crore higher than Budget estimates of 2020-21.

He said that the shortfall in the receipt of funds from the share of central taxes during 2020-21 due to the sharp decrease in collection of taxes by the central government caused by the Covid-19 pandemic was Rs 1,185 crore.

He said that the percentage of revenue expenditure estimates for 2021-22 fiscal is 82.67 as against the estimated capital expenditure of 17.33 per cent.

The revenue expenditure includes expenditures on Salary of Employees, Pensionary Charges, Interest payments, expenditure on large sectors like Education, Sports, Road Maintenance, Power Purchase, Water supply, District Administration, Secretariat Administration, Home, Jails, Police, purchase of food grains, etc.,” he said, adding that the capital expenditure is mainly for the creation of assets for the Public including lands and buildings, roads, and bridges, irrigation, sports infrastructures, large machinery etc.

The State is compelled to reduce its non-obligatory revenue expenditures, various activities which were undertaken in the pre-COVID period except priority items will not be possible to be taken up in 2021-22, he said.

The economic and social impact of the virus is devastating whereas untied grants to be received from central government reduces, hence economic recovery from the crisis is likely to be slow and uneven.

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To address the situation, the State Government has taken austerity measures to avoid unnecessary expenditures at various levels such as budgetary cuts in certain areas, direct recruitment, and creation of posts except for extremely necessary cases, ban on State-sponsored foreign travels, the introduction of Annual Maintenance Contract System for motor vehicle repair etc.,” he said.

The State Government would need to take up the standing austerity measures at least till the time our financial situation improves,” he said.

The State is also taking measures to boost its Tax and Non-Tax Revenue to the greatest extent possible, he added.

Zoramthanga allocated a total of Rs 400.00 crore for various activities of the Socio-Economic Development Program (SEDP), the flagship program of his Mizo National Front (MNF) government

He also proposed to put aside a sum of Rs 5.00 crore for Rehabilitation of MNF Returnees, who came over ground following the historic Mizo accord signed with the centre on June 30, 1986.

Rs 60 crore was allocated for MLA Local Area Development Fund for the new fiscal.

The Chief Minister also presented the Supplementary Demands for Grant for the current fiscal amounting to Rs 3,058.08 crore.

The determinants of these additional expenses will include those late releases of funds under CSS, NEA, NLCPR/NESIDS, CRF amounting to Rs 945.05 crore; Externally Aided Projects, NABARD, Special Central Assistance, Counterpart Funding (SMS), and SEDP Fund release amounting to Rs 765.25 crore; and State funds amounting to Rs 1,347.78 crore,” he added.

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Addressing a press briefing after presenting the budget, Mizoram CM Zoramthanga said that the economy of the country and the state which was going downhill due to the Covid-19 pandemic could not be expected to recover within a short span of time.

He added that the state government would make concerted efforts to reduce the revenue expenditure in the years to come as also, increase the state’s own tax revenue and non-tax revenue by the improvement of efficiency in collection of taxes and non-tax revenues, without increasing the taxable items or enhancing rates of taxes.